Red Velvet are known for their experimental concepts and duality. Their newest concept shows the brightness of Spring while playing with darker undertones.
Their “Feel My Rhythm” music video is art, literally. Here are 10+ references from the video that are straight out of art history.
1. The swing
Irene transforms into the subject of The Swing (c. 1767-68) by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. The lofty recreated image displays the natural scene of the original painting and Irene’s elegance through her dress and expression.
Here, Joy captures the essence of Ophelia (1851-52) by John Everett Millais. The original painting depicts the character Ophelia from William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet, who drowns in a river. Joy’s upturned hands mirror the positioning perfectly.
Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus (1900) by John William Waterhouse shows the head of Orpheus, of ancient Greek legend, after he has died. This less grim depiction has Joy playing the part of Orpheus and Yeri and Wendy shown as the nymphs.
4. Over the wall
Several paintings could be represented in the scene of Seulgi looking over the wall. Though it’s not for certain, the first possibility is The Curious Little Girl (1860-64) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, a figure painting of a girl in contemporary life.
Another guess is that it depicts Over The Wall (1865) by Filippo Palizzi. The popular motif shows a girl looking over a brick wall. Its similarities also include the shrubbery seen in the left side of the work.
It could also be Lady Looking Behind the Walls by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux, also referred to as The Spy. This painting differs from the others by including the added ladder and hat, both of which are apparent in Red Velvet’s version.
5. Gather Ye Rosebuds
Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (1909), also by John William Waterhouse, shows women gathering flowers in a field. Yeri and Seulgi copy the subjects’ mannerisms as they reach to pick the flowers.
6. Woman with a parasol
Woman with a Parasol — Madame Monet and Her Son (1875) by Claude Monet evokes a bright and lively feeling with a casual family outing.The vibrant colors used in “Feel My Rhythm” capture this perfectly.
7. The birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus (c. 1485) by Sandro Botticelli depicts Venus, goddess of love and beauty, on the shore after being born of the sea. Yeri plays the part of the goddess as the others dance around her. Other similarities include the flowers being tossed around and the ground illustrating water.
8. The garden
The most thoroughly represented piece of art comes from The Garden of Earthly Delights, a triptych created by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1490 -1500.) The triptych is a work of art that can be divided into three sections. The three panels display Eden, Paradise, and Hell from left to right. Though the original intent of the artist has been debated for centuries, the art is clearly hugely symbolic in nature. Several references are made to this iconic piece.
The first representation comes from the left panel. This strange structure’s similarities are uncanny to Bosch’s original work.
The structure on which Joy stands opens up like what appear as flower petals, seen in the middle section of Bosch’s work.
Yeri sits in a broken pink sphere much like the one seen in the middle panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights. It sits in water surrounded by nature, which is also reflected in both scenes.
The blue structure
Wendy stands near a flowing blue structure that looks similar to the one in the garden.
Birds of various forms are depicted both in “Feel My Rhythm” and the original art. Red Velvet are human among birds in this scenario.
Berries are another heavily used aspect in The Garden of Earthly Delights. Irene holds a bowl of them and Wendy reaches toward one in the music video.
Like the bird piercing a berry, Seulgi does the same. This action seems to depict her as a bird too.
Seulgi also sits on a chair, or throne, again acting as the bird which has been said the represent the devil, or evil.
The Red Velvet members sit at a table similar to the open structure seen on the right panel.
A close up
At the end of the video we see a close up shot of the structure from the left side of the original piece. Seulgi here is the owl that is in the opening.
Did you notice any others? Check out the “Feel My Rhythm” music video to see if you can catch them all.